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Basement Renovation

A renovated basement allows you to breath easier knowing there is room to move in what may be considered a crowded house. It also seems a waste not to get use out of all the square footage of your home.

Preliminary Planning

  1. Dream of Possibilities – Dream of all the possibilities. Consider everything that your basement can offer you and your family – guest bedroom, bathroom, playroom, game room, exercise room, and/or living room.
  2. Rough Floor Plan – For practical reasons you will want to figure out where your different rooms will fit or will best be placed.
  3. Work Involved- Make a list of all that may have to be done in order to make your vision come to fruition.
  4. Cost – Figure the cost of materials and labour.
  5. Precautions- Check for mildew, water marks, cracked floors and the like that may cause problems down the road in your renovations. Why not look ahead to problems that might arise before the work is started?
  6. Fine-tune Plans- Measure your rooms and think of any special organizational aspects that might make your basement more special. Nooks and crannies may be used for built-in benches, shelving, drawers, closets, and the like (exc. shelving built into the empty area under the stairs). Also keep in mind that a faux fire place between shelves can add interest.
  7. Making Decisions – Now’s time to pick out paint colors and type of paint – type of flooring – trim & moulding – light fixtures and placement – location of plumbing if you plan on a bathroom or mini-kitchen – placement of outlets.
  8. Free Estimate – Get a free-estimate from an insured, respectable contractor, like Living Construction.

Lighting

Basements tend to be dark, dimly lit areas. Therefore, choices concerning how to light your basement are paramount. Recessed lighting is something to be looked into as it does not take up space and paired with ambient lighting will brighten up a room without taking up floor space. In order to install recessed lighting one must have enough height above the ceiling to accommodate it. If your ceiling is lower, wall sconces make a good alternative.

Trim and Moulding

Your basement should feel like any other room in your house – with just as much character and formality. Trim and Moulding similar to what exists in the rest of your house will help make your basement feel more inviting and livable. Of course 36″ high wainscoting may be a better choice than 42″ in terms of ceiling height.

Flooring

Flooring should be chosen based on how your rooms are to be used. It is often a good idea to choose something with warmth (carpet, hard wood, manufactured hard wood) as basements tend to feel cold. However if a room is small, your room might benefit from a lighter, neutral color (short, light-coloured carpet or high-quality linoleum). Be aware that because basements are moisture-prone, sub-flooring is a must.

Plumbing

Adding a bathroom requires expertise. When looking for the placement of a bathroom in your basement take note of your pipes and plumbing. Note where your kitchen and bathroom are located above on the main floor. This is where you will have to place your basement’s bathroom or mini-kitchen.